Car accidents can happen in so many different ways. On roadways with parking spaces, parking lots, and other areas where a driver might be reversing to accomplish what they need, another vehicle could hit them when they’re backing up. This leads to an accident where both parties could be wondering who was in the wrong and who caused it.
When you were pulling out of a parking space or reversing for another reason, you might be wondering what happens next? Let’s take a look at what matters the most when you were hit while reversing—fault.
Determining Fault in a Car Accident
Reversing requires attention and caution behind the wheel. You shouldn’t trust your mirrors to get everything into sight—they have blind spots and only show much of what is behind your car. Even if you have a backup camera, you should still be turning around to physically look behind you.
That is the only way to ensure that you are being as safe as possible when you slowly begin to reverse out of a parking spot, into a parking spot, or reverse for another reason. However, a car could still come up from behind you and hit you while you’re reversing.
In this accident, the first thing that will be done is determine who was at fault. Though you likely don’t want to hear this when you were the one reversing, the fault will most likely be yours. Since the other car was following the pattern and flow of traffic, and you weren’t, it was your job to avoid an accident. So usually, if you were reversing and a car hit you, it was your fault.
However, there are some scenarios when that could be the other driver’s fault. If the other driver was being negligent in any way, then they could be at fault for your collision. For example, if they were speeding, texting, drunk, or otherwise distracted when they collided with you, then they were at fault and not you.
This all relies on the fact that you were being attentive and were not speeding, texting, drunk, or otherwise distracted, though.
If you were both backing up, then that makes everything more complicated. Let’s take a look at our state’s fault laws and how they factor into a car accident where one person was reversing.
Fault Laws in Illinois
In a situation where the other driver was proceeding normally through the main lane and you back into them, the fault would most likely be fully yours. Illinois is an at-fault state, which means that drivers can collect compensation when another driver’s negligence leads to a collision that causes them injuries and damages.
Additionally, our state follows comparative negligence laws. This means that the fault can be shared between more than one negligent driver, since there’s the possibility that all drivers involved were being negligent at the time of the collision. When you’re the one who was reversing, you would typically be the one at fault, but if the person driving through the parking lot was speeding or distracted, the blame would be shared.
In comparative negligence, your damages can be reduced by the percentage you’re found to be at fault, which informs how much the other party can receive in damages as well. For example, since you were backing out of your parking space, you are mostly at fault for what happened. But since the other party was speeding through the lane, they contributed a percentage of fault.
In this example, you might be found 75 percent at fault for what happened, and the other driver is found 25 percent at fault for their speed. This would mean that you can recover 25 percent of the damages you suffered, while the other party’s damages they can recover are reduced by that 25 percent.
This can all get complicated, which is why you need a car accident lawyer on your side. An attorney has experience with claims like this and will know how to calculate your damages and determine percentage of fault.
Next Steps After a Car Accident
Even if you were the one reversing and you think you’ll be found at fault, it’s important to follow all of the proper steps immediately after an accident so that you can get justice, especially if you believe the other driver was driving negligently as well. Here’s what you should do right after getting into a collision:
- Assess yourself for any injuries and determine if it’s safe to move
- Get to a safe area and out of traffic as best as possible
- Call 911
- Speak with the police when they get on scene
- Allow paramedics to help you if you’re hurt
- Speak with the other driver and exchange information, but don’t apologize or blame them
- Talk to witnesses and get their contact information
- Take pictures of the scene and any damages
- Seek medical care from your doctor or a hospital
- Call your insurance company
- Hire a car accident attorney to represent you
All of these steps are essential so that a lawyer can get the full scope of what happened in your accident, even if you were partially at fault since you were the one backing up and breaking the standard traffic pattern. It’s best to be honest with your lawyer so they can properly evaluate your case, whether or not they want to take it, and the percentage of fault you contributed.
Prince Law Firm Is Here for You
An accident where you were reversing and the other driver crashed into you can be frustrating, especially when the other driver was being negligent. Determining fault can prove to be complex, and leave you wondering how much you’re able to recover in damages, but when you choose to hire a car accident lawyer from Prince Law Firm, you can rest assured that you’ll get the answers you deserve.
We have experience with complicated car accident claims that include comparative negligence. With us on your side, you can feel confident that you’ll be fully supported and represented. Reach out to our firm today so we can get started on your potential claim right away.
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